Tag Archives: Woodlands Industrial Park

Rainbows and Red-rumps

I walked around Braeside Park last week with a few friends. It has been a while since I have explored this part of the park having spent more time recently looking around the neighbouring Woodlands Industrial Estate wetlands. With all the rain over winter the lagoons have filled up nicely and there is a lot of fresh growth. There was quite the buzz around the park as many parrots, lorikeets and cockatoos searched for and explored every hollow they could looking for suitable nest sites. Once claimed the nest sites are vigorously and noisily defended. The highlight of the day was a large dead tree with a quite a number of hollows that seemed to be occupied by Red-rumped Parrots – a parrot apartment block. While it is still Winter here, one can definitely feel the change coming as the birds move into gear for the new breeding season.

 

Rainbow Lorikeets, Braeside Park, Victoria

Rainbow Lorikeets, Braeside Park, Victoria

Red-rumped Parrots, Braeside Park, Victoria

Female Red-rumped Parrot exploring a hollow

Red-rumped Parrots, Braeside Park, Victoria

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Male Red Rumped Parrot, Braeside Park, Victoria

Male Red Rumped Parro waiting for the female to pop back out with a decision…

Red-rumped Parrots, Braeside Park, Victoria

Red-rumped Parrots – male guarding above and the female enjoying a little sun in the nest hollow below. Her duller colouring is well suited for long stints at the nest

Woodlands Industrial Park – calls of childhood

After the early morning encounter with my little White-plumed Honeyeater friend and watching his gang take on a rival New Holland Honeyeater tribe we continued our walk into the wetlands and bordering scrub looking for more birds.

We found a Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike moving along the tree line above us being pestered by Magpie-larks.

Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike

Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike

One of the great sounds of bushland on the Melbourne fringe (and in my area of inner Melbourne) is the call of the Butcherbird. Along with the Currawong and Magpie, the butcherbird it is part of the soundscape of the outer Melbourne. For many childhood years I lived on the fringe of suburbia in different parts of Australia. I still regularly visit my folks who still live on the fringe. The sounds below were always there in the background.

Currawong call from Birds in Backyards site (press the audio button down the right hand side of the site)

Grey Butcherbird call

Australian Magpie call

The Butcherbird is an adept hunter of small birds, lizards and insects and gets its name from its habit of hanging up its prey in the branches. It has also been known to use wire mesh fences to store excess food. I have found them nesting in a tree on my property and watch them attempt to take a Welcome Swallow in flight at the Elsternwick Park Lake.

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird – my first decent shot, the matures bird are much more nervous of humans but the juveniles do not yet have the same fears.

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird II – wicked little hook visible on the tip of the bill.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen – interesting bird to photograph due to its size and vibrant colours.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen II

The culprit that started the obsession

Several¬†years ago I was watching a few birds roosting on the island in the middle of Elsternwick Lake and was trying to name the ones I recognized – cormorant, seagull, pigeon, magpie, swallow etc…I had never really thought about the others that were around that I couldn’t name. I saw a tiny olive coloured bird above me fighting with a Noisy Miner. I had no idea what it was and having my camera in my hand I took a few bad shots so I could look for it in an old bird book I had in my library. From that bit ¬†of research started a new hobby/skill/adventure/obsession – birding.

My tough little friend fighting off the Miner was a White Plumed Honeyeater – a pugnacious honeyeater that will defend its food supply and territory. I have often seen them at Woodlands Industrial Estate fighting with an opposing and equally aggressive tribe of New Holland Honeyeaters.

The Woodlands Industrial Estate includes an area of native scrub and wetlands that is not controlled by the Parks Department and people seem to use the edges as a dumping ground and to walk their dogs off leash. It is right next to Braeside Park and I often walk between the sites looking for certain species. I went there a few weeks ago with my birding buddy John and found my epiphany bird in the early morning light feeding on insects and Lerp.

White Plumed Honeyeater

White Plumed Honeyeater

White Plumed Honeyeater

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White Plumed Honeyeater

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White Plumed Honeyeater

looking for insects and lerp in amongst the gum leaves

White Plumed Honeyeater

One of my favourite little birds